Comp Experience: It all started because I wanted a challenge, but what I ended up with was a life changing experience.
After having two kids, I wanted to be entitled to have my identity and my body back. I was told numerous times that I was being unrealistic. I was told that I would never look the same, that I would never fit in a size 6 skinny jeans again. Signing up for a comp was the way I found to have the challenge I was seeking while keeping myself accountable, as well as proving everyone else wrong in the process.
To start with I was worried about how to accommodate for my training and dieting, and the needs of the rest of my family. However, the nutrition plans I was given was flexible and suited everyone, saving my time and sanity. On occasions, I cooked different meals for my kids because I thought they would be missing some old favourites, only to have them refusing to eat because they wanted to eat “the food the makes you strong”.
A genetic degenerative cartilage condition (meaning my cartilage ages faster than the rest of my body) left me with a week joints and a few previous injuries. To be honest I didn’t think it would be possible to build my muscle without all the extreme training and ridiculously heavy weights we see on the media. However, my training was always focused on keeping myself injury free whilst still working on building muscles.
In the 6 month I spent prepping for the comp I was injury and pain free. I felt energetic and happy. I became the leanest I have ever been, and according to my daughter I looked like a superhero. I certainly felt like a superhero.
Posing was challenging for me. It felt unnatural and a little too flirty. After practicing every week with my coach, it started to feel like second nature (after all posing in front of the mirror is what everyone should do when they feel great in a bikini).
Comp day was possibly one of the most fun I have ever had in my life. I had everyone looking after me from hair, make up and tan to being fed and dressed by the team. For a mum who spends her days carrying for others being treated like a diva was super cool.
Backstage was hectic, and the vibe was great, everyone was focused and friendly. The backstage workouts helped to keep me busy and stress levels low. On stage, there were so many of us, the lights were so strong and so hot that I couldn’t see anyone in the audience. Probably a good thing since standing in a bikini in front of people is not something I do every day.
Time flew by and before I noticed it was all over. I was exhausted, but I had the time of my life. My kids were super proud of me, my husband was amazed with my achievements and my friends were inspired.
The impact of this experience changed myself and my whole family’s relationship with food and exercise. We all eat better quality food with little to no fuss coming from the little ones, we walk (sometimes race) everywhere on weekends and I hardly ever get asked to turn the TV on.
I would do it again every weekend if I could. Since that is not possible I’ll most definitely be back next year.